This week’s BlogBattle genre is fan-fiction, with the word thorn as the prompt.
Normally, I avoid writing fanfic, and I rarely read any. But I can understand the love people have for various characters, and I’ve seen a few really touching examples where someone captures the essence of a show, movie, or book. That said, I found myself surprisingly excited to give it a go for the contest, and it was cool to try.
Since the first time I ever heard of fan-fiction was related to the TV show Supernatural, I decided to go with the Winchesters as my fanfic victims. And thanks to Rachael posting the rest of January’s words and genres, this is going to be a three-part story.
“That map’s no good this far out, Sammy,” Dean said, his hands firm on the steering wheel of his Baby. The black Impala tore down the backwoods road, engine pounding out a warning to the creatures ahead: the Winchester boys are coming.
“I know where we are,” Sam replied, his lips pursed in frustration. “Just trying to figure out where this Vale might be.”
Dean rolled his eyes. “No doubt it’s in a calm little clearing,” he mocked, “a circle of trees and thick grass with flowers and fairies and soft music playing in the background. Come on, Sammy. Crowley sent us here, so you know we’re steppin’ into a trap.”
Earlier that week, over shots in a bar, the Prince of Hell had tipped them off to the presence of something unnatural in the woods near Boulder, Colorado. “Couple of your dad’s old friends up that way,” he said with a slight smirk. “Good chaps. The lady’s from my side of the pond. Had a couple run-ins with ’em in the distant past–came away impressed.”
Sure enough, once Sam knew where to look, the news stories and search hits shone like a beacon. Hikers attacked, abandoned campsites, talk of evil woods and trees walking about like men. A bloody body turned up a month ago, and two others last week.
Sam folded up the map and tossed it in the back, then pulled out an old leatherbound notebook.”Dad’s journals say these folk stand guard over a site of power, something tied to capital-N Nature. Listen to this. He wrote that ‘they’ve been Hunters since before most folk knew what Hunting was.’ Everything he wrote sounds so… in awe of this couple. Wonder what they did to earn that kind of reverence.”
Dean curled his lip in a dismissive sneer. “Yeah? We’re about to find out.” He tapped the brakes and slowed as they approached a mailbox with McSwain stenciled on the side. “Here’s their cabin.”
He cut the ignition and exited the car, then checked the revolver in his belt and surveyed the treeline with narrowed eyes. Sam slipped his father’s journal into his jacket pocket as he stepped out of the car. “Sure this is the place, Dean?”
The shack looked run-down, barely holding together. A rusty car sat in the garage, unused for years based on the dust and grime. An old woman rocked on the porch, with the black metal of a rifle leaning on her shoulder. She sang in a soft tone that carried through the yard.
The Thorn lies in jail in the Dwimmerdim Dale
But ‘neath the moon pale, the Thorn will prevail,
And draw out the blood of the bad and the good.
So come all ye fae, ye hearty and hale
Lest Thorn grow to choke all the life in the vale
At the sight of the boys, she leveled the gun their way. “You can keep on that side of the fence, Sasquatch,” she told Sam, “at least until I know what you’re about.”
Dean flashed a fake badge. “Teagan McSwain? Wildlife Protection Agency. This is Agent Irwin, and I’m Agent Grylls. We came on account of some stories in the news–”
The woman raised the gun to her shoulder and took aim. “Go back the way you came,” she said, her voice rough. “Nothing for your kind to handle here.”
Sam reached out with open hands, reassuring. “Ma’am, look, truth is our dad said he knew you and your husband, Grant. He was a Hunter, and–well, it kind of runs in the family. His name’s John, John Winchester?”
The gun quivered in her arms, and then she sprang to her feet with a smile. “Oh my swait Jaysis,” she said, an Irish lilt creeping into her voice. “Come in! How’s little Jonny-boy?”
As they passed through the gate, Sam and Dean traded confused looks, and Dean mouthed the name in silence. “Uh, sorry to say he passed a few years ago.”
“Well, damn. Coulda used him.” Her eyes grew hard, and her jaw clenched. “My husband’s missing in the woods, gone several days now. Went to find the source of the tales you mentioned, but never came back.”
Dean glowered at the woods, and Sam knelt down beside the aged woman. “Where did he go, ma’am?”
“He meant to find the source of this corruption, headed toward the vale up the road. It’s an ancient ritual site of the Chickasaw tribe, a natural shrine of sorts.”
Dean balled his fists at his waist. “We’ll do what we can, ma’am. Can you point us the way?”
Within moments, the Impala rumbled along the narrow trail, its engine making easy work of the rough climb.
“She’s pretty far gone,” Dean said. “For all we know, her husband’s long dead. I wouldn’t get my hopes up for this one, Sammy.”
“Seems like a nice enough lady. And dad’s notes–”
Dean scoffed and flexed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Dad wrote down a lot of things that don’t make a whole lot of sense until it’s too late.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. What’ve we got to deal with natural aberrations?”
“Other than a box of hollowpoints and some shotgun shells,” Dean said, “not a hell of a lot. Should be an ax in the trunk if some trees get feisty.”
The Impala lurched to an abrupt stop. Dean’s forehead bounced off the wheel and Sam’s neck whipped his head forward before snapping back into the seat.
“The hell did you hit, Dean?”
Dean floored the accelerator. The engine whined, but the car merely shuddered, immobile. Thick, twisted vines stretched and spread across the Impala’s hood. Sam peered out the window at the front tire, then the back. “More vines, wrapping up the tires like a spider web of plants.”
A figure shaped like a man covered in wood strode from the treeline. Its eyes glowed vibrant green, and the same energy shone from the wide grin splitting its face.
Sam glared at Dean. “You just had to talk about cutting down trees…”
“Uh, Sammy? I think we found Thorn.”